Ask Joe: Does Nevada have a statewide warning system in case of a disaster?

Flooding covers much of Lemmon Valley in Feb. 2017 (SBG)

From the Ask Joe file, we are looking into a question about emergency and disaster warnings in Nevada.

Jon Bishop wrote in asking if Nevada has an operational early warning system in the event of a disaster.

Here's what I found out:

The answer is yes. I spoke with Adrienne Abbot who heads up Nevada's Emergency Alert System.

EAS has a number of ways to get warnings out, including sending messages via TV and radio. Our master control department at News 4 is an example of where those warnings would be transmitted from EAS to you, the viewer.

Digital roadside signs can also be used. They are most often used for local emergencies like flooding or wildfires. But they could also be used for a warning that came down from the federal government, such as a possible missile attack.

And some communities like Minden still rely on warning sirens to alert the community.

A lot of people wonder if the system could be set off by mistake, like what happened in Hawaii recently. I asked about that and I found out it takes more than one person to approve sending out a warning.

If the warning system does need to be activated, another command-level staffer would have to approve as well to avoid setting off the system accidentally. Also, the system is tested on an annual basis and will be tested again in the fall.

So that's how the system works here in Nevada -- there are several ways of getting that information out to the public in the event of an emergency.

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